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  1. #71
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    In the European Union 14 weeks of paid leave are the legal minimum.

    In Germany that means 6 weeks of paid leave before birth and 8 weeks of paid leave afterwards. There is an option of up to 14 months of additional wellfare for parents of either gender who decide to stay at home. Your workplace is protected in the meantime.
    In Belgium it's 15 weeks paid leave and in France 16 (unless you have several children, then it's noticeably more).
    In Denmark it's 18 weeks paid leave for the mother plus another 32 to be divided between both parents.
    In Italy it's 5 months paid leave.
    In Spain it's 26 weeks paid leave.
    In Sweden it's 50 days paid leave before birth and 450 days after birth to be shared between both parents.
    In Great Britain it's 24 weeks, the first 6 of them almost fully paid, the father can also take half a year off if the mother is working.
    In the Netherlands it's 16 weeks of paid leave.
    Austria has 16 weeks at 100% salary.
    In Norway it's 10.5 months paid leave for the mother plus 10 weeks for the father.
    Bulgaria has a year of paid leave.
    Croatia has 26 week of paid leave ppaid for by public healthcare.
    Iceland has 90 days paid leave plus another 90 days to be shared between both parents.
    Lithuanians can chose between one year at full pay or two years at 52% pay.
    Poland has 16-18 weeks paid leave.
    Slovenian mothers have a whole year at 100% pay.
    Brazilians have 120-180 days at full pay.
    Canadians do in fact have a year at half pay.

    Mexico has 12 weeks at 100% pay.
    Panama has 14 weeks at full pay.
    Actually, most Latin American countries have 12 weeks at full pay. In Venezuela it's 26 weeks at full pay.

    Most African countries have 12 or 14 weeks at full or somewhat reduced leave.

    Australia has 18 weeks at minimum wage.

    Iran has half a year at full pay.
    Korea has 90 days at 100%
    Japan has 14 weeks at 60%.
    New Zealand has 14 weeks at 100%
    Vietnam has 4-6 months at 100%

    I am skipping a lot of countries here, the actual list is longer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parental_leave

    Papua New Guinea is one of very few countries in the world with similar regulations to those of the USA: 12 weeks at 0%
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  2. #72
    Senior Member SensEye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    ^ The statistics will prove one of us right over the next couple of decades.
    Haven't the statistics already proven Coriolis right over the last couple of decades?

    Compare the gender norms of the 50's to today. Professional women were relatively rare. Not so much today. This implies to me it was never matter of women being disinclined to have professional degrees and careers, simply a cultural norm that they did not usually pursue such.

    I think one can successfully extrapolate this into the future.

  3. #73
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    However, I think until America has a year of paid maternity leave....
    Why on earth, given any reasonable alternatives, would entrepreneurs hire a woman of child-bearing age if she's likely to unexpectedly take a year off at any time, forcing them to put up with massive productivity decline from her absence/temporary replacement as well as the wasted expense of her salary? Three months can be compensated for with strengths in other areas (and its in everyone's interest to reasonably subsidize families with children), but an entire year? And if try to avert that unintended consequence by simply extending that leave to male parents as well, you transfer the problem onto all young workers, resulting in higher levels of unemployed and under-employed young adults (a problem which I believe the EU has had for quite awhile now, and that is already getting worse in North America). Basically, you make things easier for current adults (unless they lose their job from the effects of higher expenses and lower productivity) by making things much more difficult for new adults.

  4. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by SensEye View Post
    Haven't the statistics already proven Coriolis right over the last couple of decades?

    Compare the gender norms of the 50's to today. Professional women were relatively rare. Not so much today. This implies to me it was never matter of women being disinclined to have professional degrees and careers, simply a cultural norm that they did not usually persue such.

    I think one can successfully extrapolate this into the future.
    Why compare today to the 50's?

    I'm not now, and have never argued that there wasn't a vast increase in female labor participation over the last half century.

    What I am saying, is that Women have picked the low hanging fruit of increased labor force participation (ie women have by and large filled all the jobs they really want), and that the discrepancies we see now in female labor participation rates in certain industries reflect the job preferences of women generally (with the obvious caveat that there will be exceptions to this preference).

    I'm saying that we will never see a 50/50 split in the labor participation rate across all industries and that the ongoing participation rate differences between the sexes reflect what jobs the genders actually pursue with any frequency vs those that most aren't interested in (although small numbers will be).

  5. #75
    Senior Member SensEye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Why compare today to the 50's?

    I'm not now, and have never argued that there wasn't a vast increase in female labor participation over the last half century.
    We can't predict the future, so the past is the best indicator we have.

    What I am saying, is that Women have picked the low hanging fruit of increased labor force participation (ie women have by and large filled all the jobs they really want), and that the discrepancies we see now in female labor participation rates in certain industries reflect the job preferences of women generally (with the obvious caveat that there will be exceptions to this preference).
    That's fine, as long as you are clear it's just your opinion, and you have no evidence to support it that I have seen.

    To me it seems when gender norms changed in the past, female labor participation trends changed. If we speculate that gender norms are going to continue to change going forward, it seems logical to me that female labor participation trends will continue to change going forward.

    Things will never be 50/50 of course. There are legitimate biological reasons for that as Coriolis already mentioned. Men will always dominate jobs that require signficant physical strength. We also know the T/F personality trait is significantly skewed along gender lines. This would probably also manifest itself in career preferences, but perhaps not that significantly. I suspect women will also continue to be the primary care giver for children as a whole, which is currently detrimental to high intensity careers (although this may be a cultural norm that could theoretically change).

  6. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by SensEye View Post
    To me it seems when gender norms changed in the past, female labor participation trends changed. If we speculate that gender norms are going to continue to change going forward, it seems logical to me that female labor participation trends will continue to change going forward.
    Surely the culture will change moving forward.

    What has not been established is the link between changes in norms and changes in the labor participation rate.

    For instance, I think the fact that all our men were away fighting WWII forcing women into the war economy labor force had a much more profound impact on increasing female labor force participation rates than did changing norms. Furthermore, I think the cultural norms shifted in response to female participation in the war economy rather than prior to it.

    The culture norm argument sounds, at least to my ears, as if it gets the cart before the horse. I believe that gender norms change in response to changes in the female labor participation rate, not the other way around. I'm sure the norms have an effect on the margins, but I suspect it is not very large.

    I get the feeling that economics, politics (legislation/regulation), and other macro less easy to pin down factors are at work here and are often more important than cultural changes.

    Having said all this, it will be (and is now) immensely difficult to parse out the causal links between these factors and increases in female labor participation.

    Given the 'soft science' nature of the cultural norm argument, that line of discussion is quite difficult to rebut. It is because of this difficulty, and the fact that such an argument is very easy to explain to uneducated lay people that I think the culture norm argument has had such salience in our modern culture. Conversely, the 'soft science' nature of that argument also makes proving it almost impossible.

  7. #77
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    Canadians do in fact have a year at half pay.
    Perhaps even more importantly, Canada also has paternity leave, which many people even use. I'm not sure if it's government-mandated but I know a lot of people who've used it. It helps even out the burden, I think.

    I always think it's funny when Americans are all "but the sky will most definitely fall if we do that" for things that Canada (and other countries) have done successfully for years/decades - same-sex marriage, adequate health care, adequate maternity/paternity leave, abortion without extreme restrictions, gun regulations, etc etc etc. It's true that the cultures are a bit different, but still, they show that those things are feasible.
    -end of thread-

  8. #78
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    Perhaps even more importantly, Canada also has paternity leave, which many people even use. I'm not sure if it's government-mandated but I know a lot of people who've used it. It helps even out the burden, I think.

    I always think it's funny when Americans are all "but the sky will most definitely fall if we do that" for things that Canada (and other countries) have done successfully for years/decades - same-sex marriage, adequate health care, adequate maternity/paternity leave, abortion without extreme restrictions, gun regulations, etc etc etc. It's true that the cultures are a bit different, but still, they show that those things are feasible.


    Over here (Germany) the paternity leave and the whole evening out thing can be tricky. Some friends of mine have recently had their first child. They were both on parental leave for a while and he (a freshly baked research biologist) wanted to work parttime (80% hours) afterwards at reduced pay to be able to take care of his daughter longterm (she is working on her PhD and simply prolonged her scholarship at reduced rates).
    Several of his potential employers - including a university! - looked at him as if he had asked to be crowned emporer of China. After a prolonged search he did find an employer willing to grant his wish, but was very frustrated at the bad working conditions at the university. They were looking for somebody to work for 80% pay at 100% fulltime hours and when he said he'd do 80% pay at 80% fulltime hours they said that that wouldn't cut it.
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  9. #79
    Senior Member SensEye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    I always think it's funny when Americans are all "but the sky will most definitely fall if we do that" for things that Canada (and other countries) have done successfully for years/decades - same-sex marriage, adequate health care, adequate maternity/paternity leave, abortion without extreme restrictions, gun regulations, etc etc etc. It's true that the cultures are a bit different, but still, they show that those things are feasible.
    Canadian maternal leave is funded by the unemployment insurance program (basically the woman is considered unemployed for a year) so the burden does not fall directly on the employer. From what I understand, Americans have a State/Federal combined unemployment insurance program that I believe is similar to Canada's purely federal program (admittedly I don't know the details of the American program). I see no reason why they couldn't use a similar approach though.

  10. #80
    morose bourgeoisie
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    I don't think this will matter in the same way, shortly.
    We are rapidly developing androids that can do menial tasks, and fight in wars. Chances are that a robot will pick up garbage in the not-to-distant future. Gender will no longer be relevant for many tasks. What will remain relevant is socio-economic level: In other words, the rich will never pick up garbage, but the poor always will, since they will never afford the new technology. The poor will face android soldiers, maybe police as well…

    Take a look:

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=DARPA+Robot

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